How To Open Pokemon Cards: A Beginner’s Guide

Is There A Proper Way To Open Pokemon Cards?

If you’ve watched even a bit of Pokemon TCG content then you’ve seen that there is a specific way everyone opens a pack. From how they open the wrapper of the card to how they shuffle the cards afterward, there is clearly an order. Sometimes they’re going so fast you may not even be able to understand the reason for this, but not to worry, because there is a reason for this. The packs are opened in such a way that the best pulls of the pack are saved until the very end of the pack to build suspense and this is typically referred to as “the card trick”. Of course, you could dive even further into this and argue it increases the run time of videos, it increases viewer engagement, blah, blah, blah, but at its core, it just makes opening the packs a little bit more fun. Some people even go as far as hiding the code card of the pack as the color of the code card indicates whether or not there is a holographic card or better in the rare slot of the pack. 


However, this doesn’t mean it is the “proper” way to open Pokemon cards, in fact, if you have seen openings where the person has to get through hundreds of packs you may have noticed they don’t do any card trick at all and instead once they have taken the cards out of the pack, they just fan them out in their hand, and move on to the next pack. So in short, if you don’t want to organize the pack like it’s described above and you just care about efficiency, there is nothing wrong with that.

Shiba Puppy Opens Pokemon Cards

What Is The Best Way To Open The Pack?

Okay, but what is the best way to open the actual packaging of the card? There isn’t really much suspense or enjoyment in opening those at all. In fact, if you’re new to opening Pokemon cards, it can be quite fiddly and frustrating and make opening the packs extremely tedious. At the same time, you don’t want to be too aggressive with the pack so as to not damage the cards inside it. So to combat that, here are the steps you should take to most efficiently and safely open your Pokemon card packs. 


Step 1: On the back of every pack there should be a thin tab or flap that comes up. Pinch the top of this tab between your thumb and the middle joint of your index finger.

Step 2: With your free hand, pinch the corner of the pack between your thumb and index finger, just low enough on the pack that you can feel the cards inside.


Step 3: Begin to pull the tab back with your fingers and pull the pack in the opposite direction gently until you you break the seal in the top of the pack and make an opening just big enough for a single finger.

Step 4: Slide your finger into this opening and begin to peel away the rest of the packaging and there you have it, your pack is opened. 


A much less common and much riskier way of opening packs for the more paranoid members of the Pokemon TCG community is using a pair of scissors to cut away the top of the pack. This is usually a precaution taken to avoid other people resealing packs but this is very unlikely.

Pokemon Evolutions and Baset Set Sun & Moon Packs

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What If I Want To Preserve The Pack Wrapper?

Suppose you have a pack art that you are really fond of, you may want to preserve the packaging of it. This is especially common with vintage packs of Pokemon cards as the pack arts are much harder to come by. Therefore, collectors are willing to pay top dollar for a well-preserved pack wrapper. 


In this case, follow the steps mentioned above but when it comes to the fourth step of peeling away the packaging you’re going to have to be a lot more careful. Make sure that you do not peel away any more of the pack than the adhesive that seals the top of the pack shut. Any ripping or crinkling of the actual pack will immediately decrease its value. Open the pack just enough so rather than putting your index finger in to peel the pack open, you can reach in the pack and pull the cards out altogether.

How Do You Shuffle The Cards When Opening A Pack?

Now let’s explain that quick shuffle of the cards that every Pokemon TCG content creator does when they are opening packs. The trick varies from set to set but from the Sun and Moon generation onwards, it has been the same so let’s cover those first. 

Once you open the pack of cards you will either be met with the art of one of the cards or a code card. If you are looking at a card art, you are looking at the front of the pack, so flip it around to the back of the pack so that you can see the code card and the Pokemon logo is facing you. Now, discard the code card and take 4 cards from the back of the pack, and put them to the front. Congratulations, you have just done the Pokemon cards trick, this now means that the 9th card of the pack will be the reverse holographic card and the 10th card of the pack will be the rare slot of the pack, or in other words (more often than not) the most valuable card in the pack.

However, if you are opening a pack from the X & Y era, all the way back to the base set of Pokemon, then you take 3 cards from the back instead of 4 with the exception of the set Aquapolis in which you only take

How Should I Sort My Pokemon Cards?

If you’re opening a whole booster box of Pokemon cards, things can get a little messy. You’ll probably have the hundreds of common cards floating around, Pokemon wrappers everywhere, and your best pulls strewn about somewhere in a sleeve as well. So how do we fix this? 


One of the first steps you can take is organizing your pulls. You can start by separating all commons from the rares in the pack. You can distinguish the rarity of a card by the symbol in the bottom right corner of the card. A black circle indicates that the card is common, a black diamond indicates that the card is uncommon and a black star indicates that the card is rare. It’s usually okay to pile the common and uncommon cards together as the difference in rarity is pretty marginal, but you should however separate the rares from them as there is only a maximum of 2 in each pack. 


You can then organize them even further by separating non-holographic rares from holographic rares and holographic rares from ultra rares. The term Ultra Rare refers to a card that usually has a unique mechanic which is shown at the top of the card next to the Pokemon’s name like V, VMax, VStar, EX, GX, etc. 


This should make your Pokemon card openings just a little bit tidier.


A Sleeved And Toploaded Pikachu From The 25th Anniversary Celebrations Set

How Should I Store My Pokemon Cards?

Once all these Pokemon cards are opened, however, they have to go somewhere. Especially if you got some amazing pulls, you don’t want to just be throwing them into a cupboard to get scuffed and collect dust, so here’s how you can store your cards. 


For one, for any pulls you deem rare or valuable, you should immediately put them in a plastic sleeve. You can get hundreds of them for dirt cheap on Amazon and they play a big role in preserving the quality of your card. 


Then, you should put your sleeved card in what is known as either a Toploader or a semi-rigid. They are thin plastic cases made to store trading cards that act as an extra layer of protection for the card as well as potentially straightening out any bends in the card. 


From there, your best bet is to store these cased cards in a box that they can fit snugly into. If the cards clatter around too much in the box, there’s a risk of scratching. As well as this, you should store the cards on their side which may be a bit of a balancing act but if you store cards on their face down or face up for extended periods of time, gravity can sometimes warp the shape of the card ever so slightly.


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